Telephone-based depression self-management in Hispanic adults with epilepsy: a pilot randomized controlled trial
Depression is associated with adverse outcomes in epilepsy but is undertreated in this population. Project UPLIFT, a telephone-based depression self-management program, was developed for adults with epilepsy and has been shown to reduce depressive symptoms in English-speaking patients. There remains an unmet need for accessible mental health programs for Hispanic adults with epilepsy. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and effects on depressive symptoms of a culturally adapted version of UPLIFT for the Hispanic community. Hispanic patients with elevated depressive symptoms (n = 72) were enrolled from epilepsy clinics in New York City and randomized to UPLIFT or usual care. UPLIFT was delivered in English or Spanish to small groups in eight weekly telephone sessions. Feasibility was assessed by recruitment, retention, and adherence rates and acceptability was assessed by self-reported satisfaction with the intervention. Depressive symptoms (PHQ-9 scores) were compared between study arms over 12 months. The mean age was 43.3Â±11.3, 71% of participants were female and 67% were primary Spanish speakers. Recruitment (76% consent rate) and retention rates (86-93%) were high. UPLIFT participants completed a median of six out of eight sessions and satisfaction ratings were high, but rates of long-term practice were low. Rates of clinically significant depressive symptoms (PHQ-9 â‰¥5) were lower in UPLIFT versus usual care throughout follow-up (63% vs. 72%, 8 weeks; 40% vs. 70%, 6 months; 47% vs. 70%, 12 months). Multivariable-adjusted regressions demonstrated statistically significant differences at 6 months (OR = 0.24, 95% CI, 0.06-0.93), which were slightly reduced at 12 months (OR = 0.30, 95% CI, 0.08-1.16). Results suggest that UPLIFT is feasible and acceptable among Hispanic adults with epilepsy and demonstrate promising effects on depressive symptoms. Larger trials in geographically diverse samples are warranted.
Continuous EEG findings in patients with COVID-19 infection admitted to a New York academic hospital system
OBJECTIVE:There is evidence for central nervous system complications of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection, including encephalopathy. Encephalopathy caused by or arising from seizures, especially nonconvulsive seizures (NCS), often requires electroencephalography (EEG) monitoring for diagnosis. The prevalence of seizures and other EEG abnormalities among COVID-19-infected patients is unknown. METHODS:Medical records and EEG studies of patients hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19 infections over a 2-month period at a single US academic health system (four hospitals) were reviewed to describe the distribution of EEG findings including epileptiform abnormalities (seizures, periodic discharges, or nonperiodic epileptiform discharges). Factors including demographics, remote and acute brain injury, prior history of epilepsy, preceding seizures, critical illness severity scores, and interleukin 6 (IL-6) levels were compared to EEG findings to identify predictors of epileptiform EEG abnormalities. RESULTS:Of 111 patients monitored, most were male (71%), middle-aged or older (median age 64Â years), admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU; 77%), and comatose (70%). Excluding 11 patients monitored after cardiac arrest, the most frequent EEG finding was moderate generalized slowing (57%), but epileptiform findings were observed in 30% and seizures in 7% (4% with NCS). Three patients with EEG seizures did not have epilepsy or evidence of acute or remote brain injury, although all had clinical seizures prior to EEG. Only having epilepsy (odds ratio [OR] 5.4, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.4-21) or seizure(s) prior to EEG (OR 4.8, 95% CI 1.7-13) was independently associated with epileptiform EEG findings. SIGNIFICANCE/CONCLUSIONS:Our study supports growing evidence that COVID-19 can affect the central nervous system, although seizures are unlikely a common cause of encephalopathy. Seizures and epileptiform activity on EEG occurred infrequently, and having a history of epilepsy or seizure(s) prior to EEG testing was predictive of epileptiform findings. This has important implications for triaging EEG testing in this population.
Keeping the team together: Transformation of an inpatient neurology service at an urban, multi-ethnic, safety net hospital in New York City during COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically affected the operations of New York City hospitals during March and April of 2020. This article describes the transformation of a neurology division at a 450-bed tertiary care hospital in a multi-ethnic community in Brooklyn during this initial wave of COVID-19. In lieu of a mass redeployment of staff to internal medicine teams, we report a novel method for a neurology division to participate in a hospital's expansion of care for patients with COVID-19 while maintaining existing team structures and their inherent supervisory and interpersonal support mechanisms.
New-onset refractory status epilepticus: Etiology, clinical features, and outcome
OBJECTIVES: The aims of this study were to determine the etiology, clinical features, and predictors of outcome of new-onset refractory status epilepticus. METHODS: Retrospective review of patients with refractory status epilepticus without etiology identified within 48 hours of admission between January 1, 2008, and December 31, 2013, in 13 academic medical centers. The primary outcome measure was poor functional outcome at discharge (defined as a score >3 on the modified Rankin Scale). RESULTS: Of 130 cases, 67 (52%) remained cryptogenic. The most common identified etiologies were autoimmune (19%) and paraneoplastic (18%) encephalitis. Full data were available in 125 cases (62 cryptogenic). Poor outcome occurred in 77 of 125 cases (62%), and 28 (22%) died. Predictors of poor outcome included duration of status epilepticus, use of anesthetics, and medical complications. Among the 63 patients with available follow-up data (median 9 months), functional status improved in 36 (57%); 79% had good or fair outcome at last follow-up, but epilepsy developed in 37% with most survivors (92%) remaining on antiseizure medications. Immune therapies were used less frequently in cryptogenic cases, despite a comparable prevalence of inflammatory CSF changes. CONCLUSIONS: Autoimmune encephalitis is the most commonly identified cause of new-onset refractory status epilepticus, but half remain cryptogenic. Outcome at discharge is poor but improves during follow-up. Epilepsy develops in most cases. The role of anesthetics and immune therapies warrants further investigation.
Safety and tolerability of an oral zonisamide loading dose
PURPOSE: There are a limited number of anticonvulsant medications that can be administered with an oral loading dose in order to rapidly achieve an effective serum level, and most of these have associated adverse effects. Zonisamide is approved for the treatment of partial onset epilepsy, and is used in practice for both generalized and partial onset epilepsy. It is generally well-tolerated, has a long half-life, and can be administered once daily. Unfortunately, the recommended titration schedule for initiating therapy takes several weeks to reach target dose and therapeutic serum levels. METHODS: We initiated zonisamide therapy using a large initial dose of zonisamide in 32 patients in our epilepsy monitoring unit over the past four years. RESULTS: Adverse effects were rare and involved nausea/vomiting (9.4%) or drowsiness (6.3%). In patients where serum levels were available for review, therapeutic or near-therapeutic levels were achieved after an oral load of 600-900mg given as divided doses over a 6-12h period. CONCLUSION: This report is the first to suggest a method of rapidly initiating zonisamide therapy, achieving therapeutic serum levels in a shorter time frame, with an adverse effect profile similar to the recommended titration schedule.
Status Epilepticus: Redefined or Increasingly Detected?
Investigating the function of deep cortical and subcortical structures using stereotactic electroencephalography: lessons from the anterior cingulate cortex
Stereotactic Electroencephalography (SEEG) is a technique used to localize seizure foci in patients with medically intractable epilepsy. This procedure involves the chronic placement of multiple depth electrodes into regions of the brain typically inaccessible via subdural grid electrode placement. SEEG thus provides a unique opportunity to investigate brain function. In this paper we demonstrate how SEEG can be used to investigate the role of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) in cognitive control. We include a description of the SEEG procedure, demonstrating the surgical placement of the electrodes. We describe the components and process required to record local field potential (LFP) data from consenting subjects while they are engaged in a behavioral task. In the example provided, subjects play a cognitive interference task, and we demonstrate how signals are recorded and analyzed from electrodes in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, an area intimately involved in decision-making. We conclude with further suggestions of ways in which this method can be used for investigating human cognitive processes.
Pearls and oy-sters: tuberculous meningitis: not a diagnosis of exclusion [Case Report]
A 21-year-old man presented to his local emergency department with 5 days of headache, which was dull, occipital, bilateral, nonthrobbing, and progressively worsening. It was associated with mild fever, photophobia, and neck pain and stiffness. He had no history of headache, chronic illness, recent vaccinations, cutaneous rash, cough, diarrhea, arthralgia, or myalgia. He was from Ecuador and had been living in the United States for less than 1 year. He had been incarcerated while in Ecuador. Sublingual temperature on admission was 102.6 degrees F. Other vital signs were within normal limits. On physical examination, he appeared thin but not cachectic. He had meningismus and photophobia, but no papilledema and his mental status was alert and attentive. There were no focal neurologic deficits. CSF contained red blood cells: 24 x 10(3)/muL; white blood cells: 85/muL (lymphocytic predominant); protein: 128 mg/dL; and glucose: 48 mg/dL (CSF/serum glucose ratio = 0.53). CSF Gram stain and cultures, PPD test, and blood and urine cultures were all negative. CT scan of the head on day of admission was entirely normal. MRI without gadolinium contrast showed a single punctate T2 hyperintensity in the left frontal periventricular white matter. Chest radiograph was clear. He received empiric vancomycin, ceftriaxone, and acyclovir. Corticosteroids were not given. The patient did not improve with antibiotics and continued to be intermittently febrile. On day 5, he became abruptly more somnolent, then comatose, opening eyes only to pain, his pupils were 5 mm and reactive, he had intact brainstem reflexes, withdrawing both arms and legs. Emergent head CT showed development of hydrocephalus and a ventriculoperitoneal shunt was emergently placed. The neurologic examination did not improve after shunt placement, and repeat head CT showed increased hydrocephalus with bilateral cerebral infarcts. On day 11, he was transferred to Columbia University Medical Center for intensive care. He was febrile and comatose. He did not open his eyes to pain, pupils were 7 mm minimally reactive, brainstem reflexes were intact, and he exhibited extensor posturing to pain. Mannitol was given, corticosteroid therapy was started, and an extraventricular drain was placed. The next day, his right pupil was 8 mm and nonreactive. MRI showed diffuse contrast enhancement of the arachnoid, extensive infarction of basal ganglia, midbrain, and pons, and small ring-enhancing lesions in the cerebellum (figure 1, A-D). Repeat lumbar puncture showed red blood cells: 550 x 10(3)/muL; white blood cells: 250/muL (14% neutrophils, 80% lymphocytes, 6% monocytes); protein: 65 mg/dL; and glucose: <10 mg/dL (CSF/serum glucose ratio = 0.08). CSF testing for Cryptococcus and toxoplasmosis was negative. CSF acid fast bacilli (AFB) smear was negative x2, and CSF nucleic acid amplification test was also negative for tuberculosis. Serum HIV test was negative. Not until 14 days after initial presentation and 3 days after transfer to the intensive care unit was antituberculosis therapy finally started, because the pattern of infarcts on the MRI suggested basilar meningitis and he had not improved on broad-spectrum antibiotics. That same day, the first sputum AFB smear was positive, as were all succeeding daily sputum AFB smears. Tuberculosis nucleic acid amplification was positive from the sputum, but persistently negative from the CSF. Daily portable chest radiographs had been normal (read as likely atelectasis), but chest CT showed dense consolidations in the left lung and diffuse micronodular opacities throughout both lungs. Two days later, only 21 days after the onset of his headache, the patient died of cardiopulmonary arrest secondary to transtentorial cerebral herniation. Thirteen days later, the CSF culture became positive for Mycobacterium tuberculosis sensitive to streptomycin, isoniazid, ethambutol, rifampin, and pyrazinamide.
Persistent inflammatory pain decreases the antinociceptive effects of the mu opioid receptor agonist DAMGO in the locus coeruleus of male rats
Persistent inflammatory nociception increases levels of endogenous opioids with affinity for delta opioid receptors in the ventromedial medulla and enhances the antinociceptive effects of the mu opioid receptor (MOPr) agonist [D-Ala2, N-Me-Phe4, Gly5-ol]enkephalin (DAMGO) [Hurley, R.W., Hammond, D.L., 2001. Contribution of endogenous enkephalins to the enhanced analgesic effects of supraspinal mu opioid receptor agonists after inflammatory injury. J. Neurosci. 21, 2536-2545]. It also increases levels of endogenous opioids that act at MOPr elsewhere in the CNS [Zangen, A., Herzberg, U., Vogel, Z., Yadid, G., 1998. Nociceptive stimulus induces release of endogenous beta-endorphin in the rat brain. Neuroscience 85, 659-662]. This study tested the hypothesis that a sustained release of endogenous opioids leads to a downregulation of MOPr in the locus coeruleus (LC) and induces a state of endogenous opioid tolerance. Four days after injection of complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) in the left hindpaw of the rat, both the magnitude and duration of the antinociception produced by microinjection of DAMGO in the right LC were reduced. Saturation isotherms demonstrated a 50% decrease in MOPr B(max) in homogenates of the LC from CFA-treated rats; K(d) was unchanged. Receptor autoradiography revealed that this decrease was bilateral. The decreased efficacy of DAMGO in CFA-treated rats most likely results from a decreased number of MOPr in the LC. Microinjection of the MOPr antagonist D-Phe-Cys-Tyr-D-Trp-Arg-Thr-Pen-Thr-NH2 (CTAP) in the LC did not exacerbate hyperalgesia in the ipsilateral hindpaw or produce hyperalgesia in the contralateral hindpaw of CFA-treated rats. The downregulation in MOPr is therefore unlikely to result from the induction of endogenous opioid tolerance in the LC. These results indicate that persistent inflammatory nociception alters the antinociceptive actions of MOPr agonists in the CNS by diverse mechanisms that are nucleus specific and likely to have different physiological implications.
Suitability of the retrograde tracer Dil for electrophysiological studies of brainstem neurons: adverse ramifications for G-protein coupled receptor agonists
Despite the acknowledged advantages of studying identified populations of neurons, few studies have convincingly established that fluorescent retrograde tracers do not alter the passive membrane properties, action potential characteristics, or effects of drugs on the labeled neurons. Whole-cell patch clamp recordings were made from spinally-projecting serotonergic neurons in the rostral ventromedial medulla (RVM) and spinally-projecting noradrenergic neurons in the locus coeruleus (LC) that were retrogradely labeled with 1,1'-dioactadecyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindocarbodyanine perchlorate (Dil). The passive membrane and the action potential properties of Dil-labeled (0.2%) and non-labeled serotonergic neurons in the RVM did not differ. Similarly, the passive membrane and action potential properties of non-labeled noradrenergic LC neurons did not differ from neurons labeled with 0.2% or 5% Dil. Although the mu opioid receptor agonist [D-Ala(2)-NMePhe(4)-Gly-ol(5)]enkephalin (DAMGO) produced equivalent outward currents in non-labeled noradrenergic LC neurons and those labeled with 0.2% Dil, significantly smaller currents were recorded in LC neurons labeled with 5% Dil. Baclofen, a gamma-aminobutryic acid(B) receptor agonist, also produced smaller currents in RVM neurons labeled with 5% Dil compared to 0.2% Dil. These results indicate that 0.2% Dil is suitable for retrograde labeling of brainstem neurons in vivo for subsequent in vitro electrophysiological study. However, 5% Dil is likely to confound studies of the postsynaptic actions of G-protein coupled receptor ligands.